Case Study / Pumps and Fluid Transport
A world leader in pumps and fluid transport meets strict internal and external audit requirements by automating Separation of Duties
For over 60 years, Watson-Marlow Fluid Technology Solutions has been a world leader in pumps and associated fluid transport technologies for industries as diverse as pharmaceutical, water and wastewater, food and beverage, mining, automotive, and medical and diagnostic devices. A subsidiary of Spirax-Sarco Engineering plc, a FTSE 100 company, Watson-Marlow operates in more than 40 countries and uses Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 in most of their worldwide installations. To meet audit requirements for Separation of Duties (SoD) conflicts in the past, Watson-Marlow would manually pull together the necessary user and role definitions and then analyze the SoD risks, as each company would
make the request separately. The process was time-consuming, error-prone, and difficult to duplicate to achieve consistent results companywide. “We were looking at SoD as a business control,” said Tim Dewson, Group IS Manager. “We were looking for a solution where we could standardize on a set of business rules and produce reports that we could analyze that would tell us where the conflicts are, where the risks are, and where we need to correct or produce exception reporting so we would have a more structured approach to our business controls.”
“This is now our standard, and to help everyone meet that standard, we are providing Fastpath as the tool to achieve that goal. Fastpath now regularly provides a list of users, a list of security roles, and a list of SoD conflicts which is something we did not have previously. It is saving us a lot of time.”
After reviewing the market for a suitable product, Watson-Marlow settled on Fastpath. “We looked at several possible solutions in the market and finally settled on Fastpath because of a combination of factors,” said Tim. “One was that Gartner gave them very favorable reviews in their magic quadrant. Another was that one person on our team had worked with Fastpath at a previous company and said it would meet our needs. And, finally, after meeting with the Fastpath sales team, we were sure the product’s SoD feature would meet the specific requirements from our audit team.” Another reason for choosing Fastpath was that it is also compatible with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations (D365FO), part of Watson-Marlow’s upgrade path for their ERP.
Tim explains, “It will be a big advantage to have our security, reporting and controls in place as we move to D365FO rather than retrofit our SoD business rules to security model while we are implementing D365FO instead of after the event.” Installation hit some bumps in the road, however. “We did experience some technical issues during installation,” Tim continued, “but the Support team was outstanding – if there was an issue, they were all over it! We are running AX as a private cloud in Azure, and there was difficulty getting the end to end connectivity with Fastpath.” Once those issues were resolved, it was smooth sailing. Fastpath has been running in Watson-Marlow’s global offices ever since.
With Fastpath in place, Watson-Marlow has achieved greater efficiency by automatically performing consistent separation of duties governance across their global offices. Now each company gets reports on a regular schedule and can sign-off on reports inside Fastpath as well. According to Tim, “This is now our standard, and to help everyone meet that standard, we are providing Fastpath as the tool to achieve that goal. Fastpath now regularly provides a list of users, a list of security roles, and a list of SoD conflicts which is something we did not have previously. It is saving us a lot of time.”
Fastpath was enthusiastically received by the company’s stakeholders. As Tim put it, “The parent company’s Internal Auditing team have given us the thumbs up for both Fastpath and the business rules we implemented. The IT department is happy with the architecture of the solution. And the External Auditors are satisfied because they know Fastpath and are confident in our solution because we are using an industry-standard tool to perform the analysis.” Fastpath has been so successful that, moving forward, Watson-Marlow has already purchased the Audit Trail module to track changes made to key system configurations, settings, and data.